Constructing a Noteworthy Career
Stavros Karageorgiou (CM ’10) Tackles Construction Management and Law with Equal Ease
With a father who owned a Brooklyn-based electrical contracting company and a mother at the helm of a general contracting business, Stavros Karageorgiou has taken a career path that may well have been pre-ordained. From the time he was 12, he spent summers working in the family businesses, and he dreamed, one day, of launching his own firm.
After helping his parents’ companies grow into multi-million-dollar enterprises, he ultimately did just that. While Karageorgiou briefly considered pursuing a degree in civil engineering, he realized that construction management might prove to be a more practical choice—and that the NYU Tandon School of Engineering (then known as the Polytechnic Institute of NYU) would be the logical place to study.
Overseen by Industry Professor Lawrence Chiarelli, who also advises the student chapter of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), Tandon’s Construction Management program covers such vital topics as overall planning, estimating costs, scheduling, project management, and construction administration, and students get the benefits of the newest and best construction research and technology.
Karageorgiou immersed himself in the program and upon graduating in 2010, he focused on growing his business, which began earning larger contracts with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the NYC School Construction Authority, and various other government agencies. (Among the most fascinating projects with which he has been involved recently has been the Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability, on Staten Island, the city’s first net-zero energy school, which was designed to produce as much energy as it uses on an annual basis.)
Not content to rest on his laurels, this year Karageorgiou completed the rigorous process to become a Certified Construction Manager (CCM)—a designation that signifies that a professional has not only passed a demanding written test of knowledge but has also had practical leadership experience in a wide variety of project areas (such as safety and risk management and contract administration).
While preparing for one such test is a time-consuming and anxiety-producing task, Karageorgiou was facing another, equally formidable, challenge at the same time: the New York State Bar Exam. Not long after earning his B.S. degree, he had entered Fordham Law School. “The construction industry is changing,” he explained. “Contracts are getting more complex, regulations are becoming increasingly difficult to decipher, and it seemed like a wise choose to pursue a law degree.” (Another factor: Professor Chiarelli, a valued mentor, is also a practicing attorney.)
Now 33 years old, Karageorgiou is becoming a major force among New York City’s contractors. He is active in the Association of Electrical Contractors, sitting on the board of directors and serving as a trustee of the self-insurance program. He is a force, as well, among alumni of the School of Engineering. “I’ve employed numerous fellow graduates over the years,” he says. “They gain important practical experience and a good start to their careers, and I like knowing they’ve studied under faculty members as great as the ones in the Construction Management program.”